The 2024 PokerGO Tour Mixed Games Series is into its weekend action, but there was a throwback to years past with the victor in Event #2, the $5000 Eight-Game tournament. Demonstrating some of the skills that earned him millions on the felt and a place in the Poker Hall of Fame, John Hennigan showed that ‘World’ definitely was enough in defeating Adam Friedman for the title. In winning the tournament, Hennigan scooped up the $120,150 first-place prize and the all-important points that will determine the overall champion.

Hennigan Goes Wire-to-Wire

Hennigan was by far the chip leader at the start of action on Friday, holding 6.225 million in chips. The five men arranged behind him – Max Hoffman (2.225 million), Adam Friedman (two million), Nick Guagenti (1.475 million), Christopher Classen (625,000), and Ken Aldridge (600,000) – barely had more chips than Hennigan alone. Facing the highly difficult eight-game mix, which consisted of No Limit Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud, Omaha Hi/Lo Eight or Better, Razz, Pot Limit Omaha Hold’em, Limit Texas Hold’em, Seven Card Stud Hi/Lo Eight or Better, and Limit Deuce to Seven Triple Draw, it was doubtful that anyone would rise to challenge the Poker Hall of Famer.

While the other five men squabbled amongst themselves, Hennigan consistently added chips to his stack. Even though Hoffman dismissed Classen from the tournament in sixth place, he would go down to Aldridge after his Omaha Hi/Lo hand failed to find half the pot. Friedman took care of Guagenti in PLO, with his Q-J-10-10 holding over Guagenti’s 9-9-8-7 when the 7-2-3-K-2 board failed to bring Guagenti any help.

Down to three players, Hennigan’s 8.325 million stack dwarfed that of Friedman (2.925 million) and Aldridge (2.5 million), and ‘World’ put his foot on the gas from there. Although Aldridge was able to get a couple of double ups through Hennigan, it was only a momentary pause in Hennigan’s journey to the championship. Hennigan almost seemed to be toying with his opposition before putting them away in back-to-back hands.

On the first hand in Stud, Hennigan gated his seven for a pair, which normally wouldn’t be an extraordinarily strong hand. Aldridge, however, could only muster a pair of sixes and departed the table in third place. On the very next hand, Hennigan would once again hit a gated pair, (4-3) 4, and found a third four on Sixth Street to overcome the hidden pair of Kings that Friedman failed to improve upon. With that, Friedman was out in second place and Hennigan earned the championship of Event #2.

1. John Hennigan, $120,150 (120 points)
2. Adam Friedman, $77,875 (78)
3. Ken Aldridge, $55,625 (56)
4. Nick Guagenti, $40,050 (40)
5. Max Hoffman, $31,150 (31)
6. Christopher Classen, $22,250 (22)

Maksim Pisarenko Surprises in Earning Event #1 Victory

It was a tightly bunched final table that came back to the felt on Thursday for the conclusion of Event #1, the $5000 H.O.R.S.E. opening tournament, meaning that anyone could capture the title. Newcomer Dennis Maschke was the chip leader with his 2.5 million in chips. Still, such notables as Daniel Negreanu (2.4 million), Benny Glaser (2.375 million), Andrew Kelsall (2.075 million), and Mike Gorodinsky (1.7 million) were lurking. In the end, it was none of these men who would capture the title.

The carnage began almost from the time the cards were in the air. Negreanu and Gorodinsky would remove Maschke from his top perch in Stud Hi/Lo, then the duo turned on each other in Omaha Hi/Lo as Negreanu dismissed Gorodinsky from the event in sixth place. Glaser would make his move in Razz, picking up a 1.1 million pot against Negreanu to assume the top rung of the ladder.

This type of action was the rule throughout the final table. Glaser took down Negreanu in fifth place to solidify himself at the top of the standings. Meanwhile, the other three competitors tried to figure out who would rise to take on the Brit.

That would turn out to be Pisarenko, who would take a massive family pot to eliminate one player and put another on fumes. In Stud, Maschke brought in with his four, while Pisarenko completed the bet with his Jack, Kelsall moved in his remaining stack and a King up, and Glaser called with a four, just in case. Maschke folded, but Pisarenko came along, and the three remaining men got another card.

Glaser kept the betting lead when he got a six on Fourth Street, but he check-folded after Pisarenko bet. With only Pisarenko and Kelsall left, the cards were turned up:

Pisarenko: (K-J) J-10
Kelsall: (10-9) K-J

Pisarenko held the lead and improved on it when he caught a King on Sixth Street. Kelsall, looking for the gutter ball Queen for a straight, instead saw a deuce and a nine that didn’t help him. Pisarenko saw an innocuous deuce come on the river and, needing a nine or a Queen, Kelsall instead was dealt a five to end his run in Event #1.

Pisarenko would use that victory to catapult himself into the lead. He knocked off Maschke in third place in Stud Hi/Lo and went to heads-up against Glaser with slightly more than a two million chip lead (7.725 million to 5.475 million). From there, Pisarenko dominated the match. On the first hand of Hold’em, Glaser went all the way to the river in search of something for his 10-9, but Pisarenko’s K-3 not only paired the flop (7-5-K) but also made a baby straight by the river (4-6). Although Glaser doubled on two occasions in Omaha Hi/Lo and Stud, he would eventually lose the remainder of his chips when his Stud hand of (10-4) A 3x 6 5 (2), a six-high straight, couldn’t catch up to Pisarenko’s (K-J) 5-9-Q-7 (10) King-high straight. With that victory, Maksim Pisarenko earned first blood in the 2024 PGT Mixed Games Series with a H.O.R.S.E. title.

1. Maksim Pisarenko, $117,450 (117)
2. Benny Glaser, $76,125 (76)
3. Dennis Maschke, $54,575 (54)
4. Andrew Kelsall, $39,150 (39)
5. Daniel Negreanu, $30,450 (30)
6. Mike Gorodinsky, $21,750 (21)

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